It is 1884 on the Canadian prairies. After an impetuous, whirlwind wedding, young bride Catherine McNab has left her comfortable home in Rosemere, Ontario, determined to start a new life with veteran trader Ian McNab. Arriving in her new home of Pounding Lake in the District of Saskatchewan, Catherine learns the Indigenous people are frustrated, starving and restless. Her husband believes the growing tension will pass, but a North West Mounted Police detachment has just been assigned to keep the peace with the notorious Big Bear band of Crees who have been coerced into making camp in Pounding Lake for the winter.
As an unscrupulous Indian Agent attempts to force the Cree band to accept a reservation by withholding their winter rations; Catherine tries to navigate the growing political tension, small town relationships with her fellow settlers, local Métis land owners, and her unexpectedly complicated new marriage. Concerned for her safety, Jay Clear Sky, the Cree band’s interpreter, befriends Catherine and gives her his sacred amulet for protection.
Torn between loyalty to her husband, compassion for the Big Bear people, and terror over what might happen, Catherine’s world, buffeted by the winds of change, begins to fall apart.
Author Norma Sluman tells the story of the Frog Lake Massacre which ignited the North West Rebellion in 1885, through the eyes of the people who experienced it, white, Métis, and Indigenous. Her writing embodies insight and deep human empathy which pull the reader into the story. A must read for lovers of true events of history and those seeking to understand its unintended consequences.